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A Student’s Guide to Thinking Celestial

Learn how to follow the prophet’s guidance to be spiritually minded

The painting "He Lives" by Simon Dewey. Jesus Christ standing in front of the tomb.
Take a moment to think about a question or problem you currently have. What have you already tried in order to answer or solve it?President Russell M. Nelson said, “To assist you to qualify for the rich blessings Heavenly Father has for you, I invite you to adopt the practice of ‘thinking celestial’!” 1
Russell M. Nelson, “Think Celestial!Liahona, Nov. 2023, 117
Still thinking of your dilemma? Read on to learn how thinking celestial can help you!

What does it mean to “think celestial”?

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe all people will live again after they die because of Jesus Christ and His Atonement and Resurrection. Our choices and desires during our life on earth will determine which of God’s “many mansions,” 2 or kingdoms of glory, we will inherit: the telestial, terrestrial, or celestial kingdom. 3 If we are faithful and obedient to Jesus Christ, we will have the opportunity to live with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and our families in the highest degree of glory, the celestial kingdom. 4 So when President Nelson invites us to “think celestial,” he doesn’t mean that we need to be perfect; rather, he’s inviting us to be “spiritually minded” 5
Russell M. Nelson, “Think Celestial!Liahona, Nov. 2023, 117
and to approach life with a higher, more eternal perspective.

How can I think celestial as a student?

You might not naturally think of being spiritually minded when studying academic subjects, but that’s the beauty of BYU-Pathway Worldwide — every course has a spiritual foundation. The next time you face a challenge in life or in your education, think celestial!

Female student studying with a temple in the background.
The next time you’re struggling as a student, think celestial!

  • Is your mind prone to thinking you can’t do something, you’re not enough, or you should give up? Think celestial.
  • Notice a classmate having a hard time? Think celestial.
  • Struggling during an exam or assignment and feel like using your notes or artificial intelligence (on a closed exam) would be easier? Think celestial.
  • Ever set unrealistic expectations to get a perfect score on every assignment? Give yourself some grace. Think celestial.
  • Having a hard time getting team members to work on a group project or motivating yourself to participate? Think celestial.

You might also consider asking: “Am I making celestial decisions? Am I taking the long, eternal view? Am I putting Jesus Christ first in my life?”

How will thinking celestial bless me and my family?

President Nelson promised, “As you think celestial, your heart will gradually change … your faith will increase.” Thinking celestial will prepare you and your family to “qualify for the rich blessings Heavenly Father has for you.”

Learn what blessings BYU-Pathway students have experienced by thinking celestial!

Adrian Peña, Mexico

Adrian Peña

“At times, I felt that I would not be able to achieve success in my education. Despite all this, the Lord’s help always sustained me. I asked, knocked, and sought until I received the help I needed. BYU-Pathway opened the doors of heaven allowing me to better provide for my family and serve the Lord more effectively. Such blessings and experiences are invaluable compared to the effort required to exercise faith in obtaining an education.”

Ego Ukaegbu, Nigeria

Ego Ukaegbu

“BYU-Pathway has broadened my horizons and made me understand that our mindset is the only thing that can determine our life. The courses touched my life in numerous ways, especially learning about thinking errors. I no longer want to please people because of what the world will say. BYU-Pathway makes me happy. I feel lighter now than I used to. The study has made me closer to our Heavenly Father.”